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Eligible fishermen under SIMP scheme receive newboats and engines

Eligible fishermen under SIMP scheme receive newboats and engines

Published by Buletin Mutiara • 14/08/2022

THE first group of fishermen from south of Penang island has recently received new boat sand engines under the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) scheme.


They are Suhaimi Abas, 52, from Sungai Batu, Yeoh Teong Chye, 60, from Teluk Kumbar,Mat Isa Mat Noor, 64, and Ahmad Khamis, 76, both from Permatang Tepi Laut.


All four received the new boats and engines during the handover ceremony held at the boat maker company, Fibra Marine Manufacturing and Trading, at Kampung Padang Benggali in Butterworth on Aug 12.

The view of the new boats.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, who was present during the handover ceremony, said the group was the first batch to benefit from the assistance as part of the Penang South Island (PSI) project’s SIMP scheme.


“There are another 16 more boats, including engines, that will be completed and given to eligible fishermen under the first batch by this year.


“The new boats, which are made of fibre glass, are more durable and larger with a length of 27ft-long each and a width of 7.4ft and can carry loads of up to one tonne.


“The boats also have safety features that prevent them from sinking when water gets into them and are equipped with GPS, sonar, robot (net hauler) as well as high-powered Mercury (90-horsepower) or Yamaha (100-horsepower) engines.


“This also marks a new beginning in efforts to modernise coastal fishermen, which is inline with the Fisheries Department’s (DoF) nationwide agenda,” he said, adding that the cost of one boat including the engine is around RM75,000.


Veteran fishermen Mat Isa and Ahmad, who were among the first four recipients, said they were happy with the features of the new boats.


“I am very satisfied with the design and the safety feature. I saw for myself how they built the boat.


“The boat is also bigger. So, I will have more space to work onboard. My old boat is smaller and too cramped,” said Mat Isa, who last bought a new boat in 2004 at a cost ofRM12,000.

Ahmad said he was excited to receive his new boat to replace his old 17-foot vessel, thanking the state government for the assistance.


He said he had been fishing for over 50 years and could only afford to change his boat twice.


“It’s not cheap to buy a new boat. I can hardly afford it. Thus, it is very good of the state government to provide fishermen like me with a new one.” he said.


According to Ahmad Zakiyuddin, PSI’s SIMP, which was formulated by the Penang government to benefit and bring progress to the local fishing community, includes providing new boats and engines to registered boat owners (tekong) from the Permatang Tepi Laut, Sungai Batu, Teluk Kumbar, and Gertak Sanggul fishermen units in Tier 1.


“And based on the Penang Fisheries Department records, 315 boat owners are eligible to receive the new boats along with higher-powered four-stroke engines under the SIMP scheme.


“From 315 boat owners, 20 of them will receive the new boats in phases by this year and the remaining 295 boats will be built only after the PSI project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) are approved,” he added.


The SIMP scheme also offers fishermen financial aid in the form of ex-gratia, job and business opportunities, training opportunities, tuition programmes for their school going children, and a homeownership scheme.


Fishermen from Batu Maung, Sri Jerjak, Telok Tempoyak, Pulau Betong and KualaSungai Burung (Tier 2) are also eligible to register and receive benefits under the SIMP.


DoF data puts the total number of registered fishermen involved in the PSI development at 952 from Tiers 1 and 2.


Also present during the handover ceremony were Teluk Air Tawar assemblyman Datuk Mustafa Kamal Ahmad and Penang Infrastructure Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus.


Story and pix by Riadz Akmal

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